Friday, August 22, 2014

This Is Where I Leave You: My take on the book behind the upcoming movie


I adored this book and quoted it constantly to my husband. "You've got to hear this!" So I was very very happy, one, that it was going to be made into a movie, and two, who was going to be playing the Foxman clan in that movie. Actually they've changed the family name from Foxman to Altman for the big screen version of the story about a family coming together when their father dies for the traditional week long mourning period known as sitting Shiva. 

Sad stuff, right? Nope. It's hilarious. 

Tropper's characters are a crazy gathering of siblings who each bring their own baggage, plenty of their own baggage, into their parents' house. Their mother - Jane Fonda plays Hilary, the widow - is a celebrity child care expert trying to honor her dead husband's final wishes. She's got a secret but it's not her massive boob job; to her kids' embarrassment she rocks her new breasts with abandon. Judd, the eldest son (Jason Bateman) has a secret too, he's just been ditched by his wife in favor of his boss (Dax Shepard) while Wendy (Tina Fey) is the snarky and unhappily married sister who still feels something for her old neighborhood boyfriend, the brain damaged Horry, played by Timothy Olyphant. Adam Driver is Phillip, the irresponsible and bratty baby brother who is desperately trying not to grow up; he's dating an older woman (Connie Britten) who allows him to treat her like shit. And then there's Paul, played by Corey Stoll, he was the congressman who got bumped off in House of Cards and Hemmingway in Midnight in Paris. Paul is married to Alice (Katherine Hahn) and the two just can not get pregnant. What Alice does out of her desperation to conceive is on the kookalooka side but hey, her biological clock was clearly ticking wildly. 

And then there's Penny, the woman Bateman --er, Foxman - crushed on back in high school. Rose Byrne is Penny in the film and based on the tv spot, I'm a little wary about how that relationship is handled. The book was NOT a lightweight rom-com; if I had to label it I'd call it a dramedy, a funny, poignant and insightful look at a dysfunctional family trying to hide their flaws and frailties from each other - and themselves - while still struggling to find their grownup selves and their place in the world. I am a teensy bit worried that what I see in the tv spot [posted separately] spends too much of its capital on the Judd/Penny storyline, although it is Judd's arc we follow most closely.
That being said, I loved Tropper's novel and highly recommend it. I loved it so much I lent it to my bff and haven't seen it since, hence the lack of specificity in this so-called 'review'.  My rom-com concerns aside I'm absolutely psyched to see the movie which should be in theaters here in the states on September 12th.

What do you think of the posters which I've been seeing around L.A., all beginning with THIS IS WHERE ... but instead of "I LEAVE YOU" finish off with a few warm and fuzzy pronouncements? Can you think of any other THIS IS WHERE scenarios based on your reading of the book? Like THIS IS WHERE WE ACT LIKE CHILDREN? 


THIS IS 
WHERE
I POST
THE TRAILER





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